Day in the Life of a Youth Services Manager

I am enjoying the “Day in the Life” series and thought it would be interesting to write a post from my perspective. I started in public libraries as a Children’s and YA librarian for a small system, then became the Teen Coordinator for a larger system, did some partnerships and development work for a bunch of years in that same system, then managed a library building and now coordinate services to children, youth and families in a large urban/suburban library system. This day actually happened on Monday, May 6th.

8:25 – 8:50 Arrived at work and approved timesheets. Couldn’t remember the password to open the computer-controlled shades in my office so squinted into the sun.

8:50 – 9:30 Met with Senior Librarian in our Information Services section about updates that have been long needed to the Youth Services portal, the section on our staff intranet that includes too many separate lists we have to keep up, lots of duplication of information that is in other places, and other valuable stuff we could put in a different order. We developed a joint list of the easy parts and she will lead a conversation with the Youth Services Management Team about how to best organize the rest of the stuff. Our conversation was in the context of knowing that our County will be moving to a new platform later this year and we will need to migrate to a new platform.
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A Day in the Life of a Public Library Youth Services Librarian

cc licensed photo by David Spender via Flickr
cc licensed photo by David Spender via Flickr

Youth Librarians are wearers of many hats. For a lot of us, I think that is part of the appeal. It certainly is for me. I hate being bored. I recently had a long crazy day. This is not unusual, you’ve probably had one recently, too. But what struck me at the end of this day was the variety of things I did – the hats I wore, if you will. It reminded me of various blogs’  and initiatives I’ve seen around the Internet detailing our days in order to show a wider audience what it is that youth librarians do.

I’m saying Youth Librarian as opposed to Teen Librarian because I was promoted earlier this year to Youth Services Coordinator, supervising the whole youth department- services to children and teens- at my library. It has increased the levels of’  metaphorical, and occasionally literal hat wearing in my work life. I have also found, as you’ll see later in this post, it has provided some different opportunities to get teens involved.

I’m going to tell you about my day, and perhaps it will inspire you, YALSA bloggers, to share your own long crazy day. Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Public Library Youth Services Librarian

A Day in the Life

6:45 AM – Arrive at school. Realize that with all of yesterday’s meetings, I never prepped for the class coming in for first block. Frantically create a book list in the OPAC, but fail to pull books onto a physical cart.

7:30 AM – First class arrives. Deliver instruction on using the catalog, using call numbers, a brief introduction to web indices and databases, and try to convince students not to print every article they find. Spend about half the class helping students find and check out books, and the other half adding titles to a future Follett order when I realize we have no books on some subjects.

8:47 AM – Run to the main office, where the secretary is paging seniors who are missing yearbook items. About half the students paged arrive. Get into a shouting match with a senior who is trying to convince a classmate that he shouldn’t turn anything in to the yearbook at all. Feel stupid for getting in a shouting match.
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